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The Therapy Sessions
Friday, July 23, 2004

Here they come!

I have been warning about the approach of learning disabled professionals for five years.

Well, they are on the way:

Disabled Students Sue Over Med School Exam

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Four learning-disabled students sued the organization that administers the medical school admission test, alleging they were denied extra time to take the exam in violation of California's disability laws.

The discrimination lawsuit, filed Monday in Alameda County Superior Court, argues that students who have trouble reading can learn to practice medicine if they receive enough time and a distraction-free setting in which to complete the Medical College Admission Test.

'Without accommodations, I really can't show what abilities I have,' said plaintiff Brendan Pierce, 28.

Pierce and the other students allege that they asked the Association of American Medical Colleges to give them more time to take the MCATs in April but were turned down because the organization said their disabilities were not severe enough to qualify for special treatment.

Retha Sherrod, a spokeswoman for the association, said the group had no comment on the lawsuit but was committed to providing 'appropriate accommodations' for disabled applicants taking the test.

Pierce, who has dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2000 with a psychology degree and has completed premedical courses at Mills College. He said he's always done well in school, having been given extra time on his exams since junior high.

All this is fertile ground for lawyers, but it smells rotten to everyone else.

Now, lawyers represent learning disabled doctor wanna-be's.

In a decade, they will be representing patients harmed by these incompetents.

None of this would have happened if everyone had just agreed that the application of universal standards is not a form of bigotry.

Sadly, very few people in academics and politics – who certainly should know better -have been able to make a very simple conclusion about knowledge and the ability to concentrate:

The ability to pay attention and solve a problem quickly is not an optional aspect of competence.

It is an integral part of competence.

Let these well meaning bleeding hearts be the first to go the doctors who can't read.

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